Pärt, Poulenc & Stravinsky: Choral and Orchestral Works / Jansons, BRSO
Three great choral and orchestral works of the 20th century are gathered together in outstanding interpretations on the new album from BR-KLASSIK: Arvo Pärt's "Berlin Mass" for choir and string orchestra from 1990, Francis Poulenc's "Stabat mater" for soprano, mixed choir and orchestra from 1950, and Igor Stravinsky's "Symphony of Psalms" for choir and orchestra from 1930. The soprano Genia Kühmeier, the incomparable Bavarian Radio Chorus and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra - two undisputedly world-class ensembles! - under the direction of Mariss Jansons guarantee the highest listening pleasure.
The Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, famed for his magical sounds, created his "Berlin Mass" as a commission for the 90th German Catholic Convention in Berlin. It was premiered in 1990 for four mixed solo voices and organ. In 1997, Pärt reworked his Mass, written in the so-called "Tintinnabuli" style, for choir and string orchestra. Francis Poulenc wrote his "Stabat mater" in response to the unexpected death of his friend, the artist Christian Bérard. Like other sacred works written after his visit to the Black Madonna of Rocamadour, where he found his Catholic faith, this one ranks among his most important compositions. Igor Stravinsky's well-known "Symphony of Psalms", a three-movement symphonic work for choir and orchestra, was written in 1930 as a commission for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The unusual orchestration – with strong woodwind and brass, percussion instruments, two pianos and only the bass strings (violoncellos, double basses without violins or violas – gives the work its distinctive sound.
Just how much we miss Mariss Jansons is manifest in this Munich concert of three sacred works. Jansons, who died in November 2019, aged 76, was not principally noted for religiosity or choral masterpieces, but his shaping of this triptych is so masterful that one can hardly imagine them presented with greater coherence or sincerity.
This is altogether an outstanding record of the conductor’s art. Jansons was one of the greats. Happily, Bavarian Radio have more of his big nights coming out of their archives.
-- Ludwig van Toronto
Approaching these works with the great seriousness they deserve, Mariss Jansons and the choir create wonderous moods and make the music float in evocative fashion.
Release Date: May 06, 2022
Catalog Number: BRK900201
Number of Discs: 1
Composer: Arvo Pärt
Conductor: Mariss Jansons
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Performer: Genia Kühmeier